abandon: /ə'bændən/ n. Syn. relinquish lacking restraint or control; feeling of extreme emotional intensity; unbounded enthusiasm With her parents out of town, Kelly danced all night with abandon.
abash: /ə'bæʃ/ v. Syn. embarrass embarrass; make ashamed or uneasy; disconcert Her open admiration should not abash him at all.
abdicate: /'æbdɪkeɪt/ v. Syn. renounce give up, renounce, abandon, lay down, or withdraw from, as a right or claim When Edward VIII did abdicate the British throne to marry the woman he loved, he surprised the entire world.
abet: /ə'bɛt/ v. Syn. encourage aid, usually in doing something wrong; encourage She was unwilling to abet him in the swindle he had planned.
abridge: /ə'brɪdʒ/ v. Syn. condense; shorten condense; shorten; reduce length of written text Because the publishers felt the public wanted a shorter version of War and Peace, they proceeded to abridge the novel.
abrogate: /'æbroʊgeɪt/ a. Syn. abolish abolish, do away with, or annul, especially by authority He intended to abrogate the decree issued by his predecessor.
abstemious: /æb'sti:mɪəs/ a. Syn. temperate sparing or moderation in eating and drinking; temperate Concerned whether her vegetarian son's abstemious diet provided him with sufficient protein, the worried mother pressed food on him.
academic: /ækə'dɛmɪk/ a. Syn. scholarly; collegiate; theoretical related to school; not practical or directly useful; relating to scholarly organization; based on formal education The dean's talk about reforming the college admissions system was only an academic discussion.
accede: /æk'si:d/ v. Syn. agree; assent; concede agree; give consent, often at insistence of another; concede The idea that one of the two chief executives should eventually accede to the role, as has happened in the past, would raise fresh doubts about the board's independence.
accelerate: /ək'sɛləreɪt/ v. Syn. speed; hasten move faster; cause to develop or progress more quickly; occur sooner than expected Demand for Taiwanese goods likely will accelerate from the second quarter, as strong Asian demand offsets the effects of a U.S. slowdown.
accolade: /'ækəleɪd/ n. Syn. praise award of merit; expression of approval; praise In Hollywood, an "Oscar" is the highest accolade.
accord: /ə'kɔ:d/ n. Syn. agreement; treaty settlement or compromise of conflicting opinions; written agreement between two states Although the accord is a small step forward, politicians around the world have their work cut out for them.
acrimonious: /ækrɪ'moʊnɪəs/ a. Syn. rancorous bitter and sharp in language, tone, or manner The candidate attacked his opponent in highly acrimonious terms.
acumen: /'ækjʊmɛn, ə'kju:mɛn/ n. Syn. acuteness; insight mental keenness; quickness of perception However, her team's political acumen is clearly beyond mine, an Ivy League Medical Science Professor and NOT a Political "Science" Professor.
admonish: /əd'mɒnɪʃ/ v. Syn. warn; reprove warn; counsel someone against something to be avoided I would again admonish the reader carefully to consider the nature of our doctrine.
admonition: /ædmɒ'nɪʃ(ə)n/ n. Syn. warning gentle or friendly reproof; cautionary advice or warning The article concludes with an admonition from a psychologist
adversary: /'ædvəsərɪ/ n. Syn. opponent; contestant opponent in contest; someone who offers opposition The young wrestler struggled to defeat his adversary.
adverse: /'ædvɜrs/ a. Syn. unfavorable; hostile in opposing direction; harmful or unfavorable; acting or serving to oppose The recession had a highly adverse effect on father's investment portfolio: he lost so much money that he could no longer afford the house.
adversity: /əd'vɜrsɪtɪ/ n. Syn. poverty; misfortune state of misfortune, hardship, or affliction; misfortune A young boy who's strength in adversity is an inspiration to all who know him.
aesthetic: /i:s'θɛtɪk/ a. Syn. artistic; elegant elegant or tasteful; of or concerning appreciation of beauty or good taste Kenneth Cole, the American designer known for his modern, urban aesthetic, is hawking $35 T-shirts.
affable: /'æfəb(ə)l/ a. easily approachable; warmly friendly Accustomed to cold, aloof supervisors, Nicholas was amazed at how affable his new employer was.
affluent: /'æflʊənt/ a. having an abundant supply of money or possessions of value They want the same opportunity to pursue their dreams as everyone else who lives in affluent school districts.
aggressive: /'əgrɛsɪv/ a. making assaults; unjustly attacking; combative; hostile; tending to spread quickly During his tenure in Beijing, Huntsman was known as an aggressive advocate for human rights and pushed to expand U.S. economic ties with China.
alacrity: /ə'lækrɪtɪ/ n. cheerful promptness or willingness; eagerness; speed or quickness Phil and Dave were raring to get off to the mountains; they packed up their ski gear and climbed into the van with alacrity.
alienate: /'eɪlɪəneɪt/ v. Syn. estrange; transfer; separate cause to become unfriendly or hostile; transfer property or ownership; isolate or dissociate emotionally We could not see what should again alienate us from one another, or how one brother could again oppress another.
allay: /ə'leɪ/ v. Syn. calm; pacify; relieve calm; pacify; reduce the intensity of; relieve The crew tried to allay the fears of the passengers by announcing that the fire had been controlled.
allude: /ə'lu:d/ v. Syn. imply; refer refer casually or indirectly, or by suggestion Try not to mention divorce in Jack's presence because he will think you allude to his marital problems with Jill.
allure: /ə'ljʊə(r)/ v. Syn. entice; attract attract with something desirable; be highly, often subtly attractive Promises of quick profits allure the unwary investor.
allusion: /ə'lu:ʒ(ə)n/ n. Syn. metaphor indirect reference; symbolical reference or comparison; metaphor Without naming names, the candidate criticized the national leaders by allusion.
ambiguous: /æm'bɪgjʊəs/ a. unclear or doubtful in meaning His ambiguous instructions misled us; we did not know which road to take.
amenable: /ə'mi:nəb(ə)l/ a. Syn. responsible; accountable responsive to advice or suggestion; responsible to higher authority; willing to comply with; agreeable He was amenable to any suggestions that came from those he looked up to.
amiable: /'eɪmɪəb(ə)l/ a. Syn. agreeable; lovable good-natured and likable; lovable; warmly friendly In Little Women, Beth is the amiable daughter whose loving disposition endears her to all who know her.
analogous: /ə'næləgəs/ a. Syn. comparable comparable; similar or alike She called our attention to the things that had been done in an analogous situation and recommended that we do the same.
analogy: /ə'nælədʒɪ/ n. Syn. similarity; parallelism similarity in some respects; comparison based on similarity This analogy is almost always noted without further comment, although in fact it may be taken further.
anarchy: /'ænəkɪ/ n. Syn. lawlessness; disorder absence of governing body; state of disorder; political disorder and confusion One might say that eastern Congo is already in anarchy, but Congo has faded from the headlines in recent months.
animus: /'ænɪməs/ n. Syn. enmity; disposition feeling of enmity or ill will; attitude that informs one's actions; disposition The animus of the speaker became obvious to all when he began to indulge in sarcastic and insulting remarks.
annals: /'æn(ə)lz/ n. Syn. records; history chronological record of the events of successive years In the annals of this period, we find no mention of democratic movements.
anonymous: /ə'nɒnɪməs/ a. Syn. unknown; nameless having no name; having unknown or unacknowledged name The buyer, who wished to remain anonymous, is a foreigner with homes in Europe.
anthology: /æn'θɒlədʒɪ/ n. Syn. collection book of literary selections by various authors This anthology of science fiction was compiled by the late Isaac Asimov.
antithesis: /æn'tɪθəsɪs/ n. Syn. contrast contrast; direct contrast; opposition This tyranny was the antithesis of all that he had hoped for, and he fought it with all his strength.
apathetic: /æpə'θɛtɪk/ a. feeling or showing a lack of interest or concern; indifferent But he shares Mary's apathetic and listless look: he seems to have more length of limb than vivacity of blood or vigor of brain.
apathy: /'æpəθɪ/ n. Syn. indifference lack of caring; indifference A firm believer in democratic government, she could not understand the apathy of people who never bothered to vote.
apprehend: /æprɪ'hɛnd/ v. Syn. arrest; perceive take into custody; arrest a criminal; grasp mentally; perceive The police will apprehend the culprit and convict him.
apprehensive: /æprɪ'hɛnsɪv/ a. capable of apprehending; knowing; conscious; relating to the faculty of apprehension; sensible; feeling; perceptive Here I walked about for a long time, feeling very strange, and mortally apprehensive of some one coming in and kidnapping me.
apprise: /ə'praɪz/ v. Syn. inform inform; give notice to; make aware If you apprise him the dangerous weather conditions, he has to postpone his trip.
approbation: /æprə'beɪʃ(ə)n/ n. Syn. approval expression of warm approval; praise She looked for some sign of approbation from her parents, hoping her good grades would please them.
apt: /æpt/ a. Syn. appropriate; suitable likely; exactly suitable; appropriate; quick to learn or understand The defeated England coach, Bobby Robson, described it as a miracle, which following 'the Hand-of-God' goal seems supremely apt.
aptitude: /'æptɪtju:d/;/'æptɪtud/ n. Syn. intelligence; talent inherent ability; quickness in learning and understanding The counselor gave him an aptitude test before advising him about the career he should follow.
arbiter: /'ɑrbɪtə(r)/ n. Syn. judge person with power to decide a dispute; judge As an arbiter in labor disputes, she has won the confidence of the workers and the employers.
archetype: /'ɑrkɪtaɪp/ n. Syn. prototype prototype; original model or type after which other similar things are patterned The Brooklyn Bridge was the archetype of the many spans that now connect Manhattan with Long Island and New Jersey.
arid: /'ærɪd/ a. Syn. dry; barren dry; lacking moisture, especially having insufficient rainfall to support trees or plants The cactus has adapted to survive in an arid environment.
aristocracy: /ærɪs'tɒkrəsɪ/ n. hereditary nobility; privileged class Americans have mixed feelings about hereditary aristocracy.
articulate: /ɑr'tɪkjʊlət/ a. Syn. effective; distinct expressing oneself easily in clear and effective language Her articulate presentation of the advertising campaign impressed her employers.
ascetic: /ə'sɛtɪk/ a. Syn. austere; severe leading a life of self-discipline and self-denial; austere The wealthy, self-indulgent young man felt oddly drawn to the strict, ascetic life led by members of some monastic orders.
assiduous: /ə'sɪdjʊəs/;/ə'sɪdʒʊəs/ a. Syn. diligent; persistent constant in application or attention; diligent; unceasing or persistent He was assiduous, working at this task for weeks before he felt satisfied with his results.
asylum: /ə'saɪləm/ n. Syn. protection place of refuge or shelter; protection The refugees sought asylum from religious persecution in a new land.
atheist: /'eɪθiɪst/ n. Syn. nonbeliever nonbeliever; one who denies the existence of god The view that children are born atheist is relatively recent.
attribute: /ə'trɪbju:t/ n. Syn. trait essential quality; reputation; honor His outstanding attribute was his kindness.
augment: /ɔ:g'mɛnt/ v. Syn. increase make greater, as in size, extent, or quantity Armies augment their forces by calling up reinforcements.
auspicious: /ɔ:'spɪʃəs/ a. Syn. propitious attended by favorable circumstances; marked by success; prosperous With favorable weather conditions, it was an auspicious moment to set sail.
authentic: /ɜr'θɛntɪk/ a. Syn. genuine; real; valid; trustworthy not counterfeit or copied; valid; trustworthy It is authentic, genuine, and a true and correct copy of the original.
autocratic: /ɔtə'krætɪk/ a. Syn. dictatorial having absolute, unchecked power; dictatorial Someone accustomed to exercising authority may become autocratic if his or her power is unchecked.
avarice: /'ævərɪs/ n. greediness for wealth; insatiable desire of gain King Midas is a perfect example of avarice, for he was so greedy that he wished everything he touched would turn to gold.
awry: /ə'raɪ/ ad. Syn. distorted; crooked ; askew; amiss in a position that is turned toward one side; away from correct course He held his head awry, giving the impression that he had caught cold in his neck during the night.
banal: /bə'nɑrl/;/'beɪnl/ a. Syn. dull; commonplace; trite obvious and dull; commonplace; lacking originality The writer made his comic sketch seem banal, only a few people liked it.
bane: /beɪn/ n. Syn. curse something causes misery or death; curse; fatal injury or ruin Lucy's little brother was the bane of her existence: his attempts to make her life miserable worked so well that she could have poisoned him.
banter: /'bæntə(r)/ n. good-humored, playful conversation You bring good diversity to the BombCast because your opinions are varied and present a good contrast to what can sometimes be predictable banter from the guys.
baton: /'bæt(ə)n/;/bə'tɒn/ n. staff or truncheon for various purposes, as one of a conductor in musical performances, one transferred by runners in a relay race What's the textbook way to handoff the baton in the relays?
belie: /bɪ'laɪ/ v. Syn. contradict contradict; give a false impression His coarse, hard-bitten exterior does belie his inner sensitivity.
bellicose: /'bɛlɪkoʊs/ a. Syn. warlike; belligerent warlike or hostile in manner or temperament; showing or having impulse to be combative His bellicose disposition alienated his friends.
belligerent: /bɪ'lɪdʒərənt/ a. Syn. quarrelsome; aggressive inclined or eager to fight; aggressive Whenever he had too much to drink, he became belligerent and tried to pick fights with strangers.
benevolent: /bɪ'nɛvələnt/ a. Syn. generous; charitable generous in providing aid to others; charitable Mr. Fezziwig was a benevolent employer, who wished to make Christmas merrier for young Scrooge and his other employees.
besmirch: /bɪ'smɜrtʃ/ v. soil, smear so as to make dirty or stained The scandalous remarks in the newspaper besmirch the reputations of every member of the society.
biased: /'baɪəs(ɪ)d/ a. Syn. slanted; prejudiced favoring one person or side over another; prejudiced Because the judge played golf regularly with the district attorney's father, we feared he might be biased in the prosecution's favor.
bizarre: /bɪ'zɑr(r)/ a. Syn. fantastic fantastic; violently contrasting; strangely unconventional in style or appearance The plot of the novel was too bizarre to be believed.
bland: /blænd/ a. Syn. soothing; mild; agreeable lacking stimulating or mild; agreeable She kept her gaze level and her expression bland, but her teeth were gritted.
blandishment: /'blændɪʃmənt/ n. Syn. flattery flattery; speech or action expressive of affection or kindness, and tending to win the heart Despite the salesperson's blandishment, the customer did not buy the outfit.
blemish: /'blɛmɪʃ/ v. mark with deformity; injure or impair, as anything which is excellent; make defective, either the body or mind A newspaper article alleging he had taken bribes may blemish his reputation.
blight: /blaɪt/ v. blast; prevent the growth and fertility of; destroy the happiness of; ruin; frustrate I wish to foster, not to blight -- to earn gratitude, not to wring tears of blood -- no, nor of brine: my harvest must be in smiles, in endearments, in sweet -- That will do.
blithe: /blaɪð/ a. Syn. gay; joyous; heedless gay; joyous; carefree and lighthearted Shelley called the skylark a "blithe spirit" because of its happy song.
bombastic: /bɒm'bæstɪk/ a. Syn. pompous pompous; using inflated language; high-sounding but with little meaning The biggest military power on Earth was acting belligerent and its president was indulging in bombastic nationalistic grandstanding.
boorish: /'bʊərɪʃ/ a. Syn. rude; clumsy; illiterate rude and clumsy in behavior; ungentlemanly; awkward in manners Natasha was embarrassed by her fellow spy's boorish behavior.
bucolic: /bju:'kɒlɪk/ a. Syn. rustic; pastoral rustic; pastoral; agricultural; relating to country affairs, or to shepherd's life and occupation Filled with browsing cows and bleating sheep, the meadow was a charmingly bucolic sight.
buffoon: /bʌ'fu:n/ n. one who makes a practice of amusing others by low tricks, antic gestures; droll; mimic; clown This buffoon is the most self-centered idiot I have ever seen or heard.
bulwark: /'bʊlwək/ n. earthwork or other strong defense; person who defends The navy is our principal bulwark against invasion.
bumptious: /'bʌmpʃəs/ a. offensively self-assertive; liable to give or take offense; forward; pushing His classmates called him a show-off because of his bumptious airs.
cabal: /kə'bæl/ n. small group of persons secretly united to promote their own interests The number of Republicans who support this man and his cabal is astonishing, but nothing will change the minds of that percentage.
cacophonous: /kə'kɒfənəs/ a. Syn. discordant; inharmonious discordant; inharmonious; sounding harshly; ill-sounding Do the students in the orchestra enjoy the cacophonous sounds they make when they're tuning up? I don't know how they can stand the racket.